Friday, January 30, 2015

Honey Siracha (Cauliflower) Wings

DH was really really excited about this recipe. It eliminates everything about chicken wings I can't handle: fried coating and the chicken itself. It doesn't help that we never found a chicken wing source here before my food restrictions increased. There was some skepticism on Facebook but these were a really big success. Aside from kind of missing the texture of chicken (we were a bone-in kind of people, not boneless wings) DH didn't have any complaints. I made it a little spicy for me but we quickly polished off a whole head of cauliflower (and quickly paid for it with stuffed bellies, I might recommend Bean-o before and peppermint tea after, and some sort of ant-acid.)

DH had them on a bed of carrot matchsticks and celery chunks. I had them on a salad with thin celery half-moons and carrot shreds. We did find a "zero calorie" ranch-like dressing but can't 100% endorse it since it didn't fulfill the burn-cutting quality you want a wing dip to have. If you have no issues with milk or milk derivatives, just buy what ever you prefer - buttermilk ranch, blue cheese, whichever. There are number of dairy-free recipes out there on the internet, if you want to try that instead. 

Note, this is not your traditional buffalo wing sauce. I'm not a fan of the flavor of vinegar-based buffalo sauce but again you can find a recipe out there if you really want or just buy Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce. I like the sweetness to cut the spice. Maple syrup would a good substitute for the honey if you so desire.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pad Thai Summer Rolls

 Summer rolls take me back to college. One of our default after church lunches was at Clay Pot, by the time we moved DH had been going there for something like 8 years. Part of the lunch special was starting with goi cuon ga with a peanut dipping sauce. I usually followed it with a chicken clay pot (I'm not a huge pho fan) but DH would get the lemongrass chicken, extra spicy.

These rolls are pretty much a full meal, maybe could fit in more vegetables but otherwise, fairly balanced. If you want to include the spread in the rolls or not is up to you, we found it less messy but we ate them right away. If you plan on waiting a little while you might want to thin it out and use it as a dipping sauce so it doesn't overly soften the wrappers.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

White Bean and Mushroom Soup

This is my take on SkinnyTaste's Tuscan White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup. Developed the flavor a bit more to fit Zoe's Kitchen's Braised Beans which I have an unhealthy love for (seriously, I need to just get a to go thing of it instead of getting those unnecessary extras like salad or veggie kabobs -which are good but not as good.)  I'm seriously considering using thermos-type tumblers to make my own to-go soups for work and at the barn (need to remember to check to see if there's a microwave in the lounge.)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Seasoned Kale Chips and Knockoff Whataburger Spicy Ketchup

 After a failed soup left us with a giant bunch of kale, I felt the need to use it up. What better way then trying my hand at kale chips? Now I've never actually had kale chips - homemade or store bought before this adventure so I went in with zero expectations other wanting to use up the green leafy thing taking up the entire bottom shelf of the fridge. I'd say it was a success. DH likes it because it serves as a decent vehicle for ketchup.

I didn't like the spice level with the spicy ketchup (seriously, try it with the kale) but DH wanted more of a bite. It's been reflected in the recipe. DH isn't going back to Texas anytime soon and can't justify the 19+ for ketchup so he came up with a basic knockoff. Whatburger ketchup is noticeably sweeter than Heinz since they use sugar and HFCS. I think honey might be a nice use instead of sugar but that's up to you.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Festive Shredded Kale Salad

Made this for a lighter option at the church party. It went over really well- as long as I didn't mention at first what leafy green was in the salad until after they tried it.  It's nicely balanced to serve as a main course if you're so inclined. Sliced radish might nice in here, something crunchy. The favorite part seemed to be the dressing. It's a nice all around dressing so it can used on most salads, I would think.

I would definitely eat this the day of. I tried to have leftovers for dinner the next night when DH went to the church's chili cook-off but the garlic was too pungent. If you really like garlic, go for it but even I have my limit and I think garlic bread is the best thing ever (as long as there's no cheese.) I think baking the pecan crumbles into a crouton might be nice, or it might be overkill. That's an experiment for another day.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas Explosion Parfait: Flourless Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Candy Cane Buttercream

DH asked for that offshoot trail and called it "the road less traveled". He then said I couldn't repeat it at the party, so I'm doing so here, sorry hun. The trees look less awkward in real life, I promise.

I'm sorry, this is not what people want to see at the beginning of a new year with new diets and everything but oh well.

Because of the craziness around Christmas at our church, our Sunday School had an After-Christmas Christmas Party. Because it was after the new year, I balanced out this nonsense with a salad I'll post later. This is ovo-vegetarian, gluten intolerant, and gluten-free friendly. If you use egg beaters instead of the yolks in the cake, it could be low cholesterol too but I can't guarantee how it'll work. I'm not entirely clear on the chemistry there. I'm not sure if there is a vegan alternative that could work, sorry.

This was supposed to be a yule log but the cake cracked horrible. So instead I layered it in a parfait and decorated it with squat little meringue trees and chocolate bark field stone pathway. Not as pretty but still tastes good. You can try to roll the cake up to cool then unroll, ice, and reroll but no guarantee that it will work. Instead crumble or slice to layer with icing in a serving bowl. I may actually use it with a lighter frosting for my mom's birthday.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Overnight Oatmeal Pancakes (with a dark chocolate orange variation)

My aunt and uncle gave DH and I a new griddle for Christmas, for which I am very appreciative. Our old was a wedding gift for DH's parents... 30 years ago. It smelled, the coating was coming off, it took up valuable real estate in our kitchen, it just needed to go. My aunt got us a stove-top version that takes up just one burner, the right size for two people.

To break it in, I wanted oatmeal pancakes. But not just any oatmeal pancakes, I had a craving for one of the chocolate oranges but with less of a calorie load and more orange. DH wasn't sure of the orange with the syrup, I would try honey if you're the kind who think that orange and maple don't go together.